Enhanced interrogation techniques

Enhanced interrogation techniques

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Enhanced interrogation techniques or alternative set of procedures are terms adopted by the George W. Bush administration
George W. Bush administration
The presidency of George W. Bush began on January 20, 2001, when he was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. The oldest son of former president George H. W. Bush, George W...

 in the United States to describe certain severe interrogation
Interrogation
Interrogation is interviewing as commonly employed by officers of the police, military, and Intelligence agencies with the goal of extracting a confession or obtaining information. Subjects of interrogation are often the suspects, victims, or witnesses of a crime...

 methods, often described as torture. These techniques were authorized by the Bush administration and used by the Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 (CIA) and the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 (DoD) to extract information from individuals captured in the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

 after the September 11 attacks in 2001.

The Obama administration in 2009 stated it would abide by the Geneva Convention, called some of the techniques torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

, and repudiated their use.

Central Intelligence Agency


A Congressional bipartisan report in December 2008 established that:
harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA and the U.S. military were directly adapted from the training techniques used to prepare special forces personnel to resist interrogation by enemies that torture and abuse prisoners. The techniques included forced nudity, painful stress positions, sleep deprivation, and until 2003, waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning.


According to ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

, former and current CIA officials have come forward to reveal details of interrogation techniques authorized in the CIA. These include:
  1. Waterboarding
    Waterboarding
    Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning...

    : The prisoner is bound to an inclined board
    Trendelenburg position
    In the Trendelenburg position the body is laid flat on the back with the feet higher than the head by 15-30 degrees, in contrast to the reverse Trendelenburg position, where the body is tilted in the opposite direction. This is a standard position used in abdominal and gynecological surgery...

    , feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Material is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over them, asphyxiating the prisoner.
  2. Hypothermia: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), while being regularly doused with cold water in order to increase the rate at which heat is lost from the body. (A water temperature of 10 °C (50 °F) often leads to death in one hour.)
  3. Stress positions
    Stress positions
    A stress position, also known as a submission position, places the human body in such a way that a great amount of weight is placed on just one or two muscles. For example, a subject may be forced to stand on the balls of his feet, then squat so that his thighs are parallel to the ground...

    : Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor, for more than 40 hours, causing the prisoners weight to be placed on just one or two muscles. This creates an intense amount of pressure on the legs, leading first to pain and then muscle failure.
  4. Abdomen strikes: A hard, open-handed slap is dealt to the prisoner's abdomen
    Abdomen
    In vertebrates such as mammals the abdomen constitutes the part of the body between the thorax and pelvis. The region enclosed by the abdomen is termed the abdominal cavity...

    . Doctors consulted over the matter advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.
  5. Slapping: An open-handed slap is delivered to the prisoner's face, aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.
  6. Shaking: The interrogator forcefully grabs the front of the prisoner's shirt and shakes them.

In December 2007 CIA director Michael Hayden stated that "of about 100 prisoners held to date in the CIA program, the enhanced techniques were used on about 30, and waterboarding
Waterboarding
Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning...

 used on just three.".

The report, "Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Evidence of Experimentation in the 'Enhanced' Interrogation Program", published by the advocacy group Physicians for Human Rights
Physicians for Human Rights
Physicians for Human Rights was founded in 1986 by a small group of doctors who believed the unique scientific expertise and authority of health professionals could bring human rights violations to light and provide justice for victims...

, described personnel in the CIA's Office of Medical Services (OMS) performing research on the prisoners as the above techniques were used both serially and in combination. This report was based on previously classified
Classified
Classified may refer to:*Classified information, sensitive information to which access is restricted by law or regulation to particular classes of people*Classified advertising*Classified , rapper from Halifax, Nova Scotia...

 documents made available by the Obama administration in 2010.

According to an item on ABC news in 2007 the CIA removed waterboarding from its list of enhanced interrogation techniques in 2006. ABC stated further that the last use of waterboarding was in 2003.

Department of Defense


The following techniques were being used by the U.S. military:
  1. Yelling
  2. Loud music, and light control
  3. Environmental manipulation
  4. Sleep deprivation/adjustment
  5. Stress positions
  6. 20-hour interrogations
  7. Controlled fear (muzzled dogs)


In November 2006, former US army Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 Janis Karpinski
Janis Karpinski
Janis Leigh Karpinski is a central figure in the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal.Karpinski retired as a colonel in the US Army Reserve. She was demoted from Brigadier General in the aftermath of the Abu Ghraib scandal for dereliction of duty, making a material misrepresentation to...

, in charge of Abu Ghraib
Abu Ghraib
The city of Abu Ghraib in the Baghdad Governorate of Iraq is located just west of Baghdad's city center, or northwest of Baghdad International Airport. It has a population of 189,000. The old road to Jordan passes through Abu Ghraib...

 prison until early 2004, told Spain's El Pais newspaper she had seen a letter signed by United States Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to...

 that allowed civilian contractors to use techniques such as sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep; it can be either chronic or acute. A chronic sleep-restricted state can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and weight loss or weight gain. It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function. Few studies have compared the...

 during interrogation.'"The methods consisted of making prisoners stand for long periods, sleep deprivation ... playing music at full volume, having to sit in uncomfortably ... Rumsfeld authorised these specific techniques." She said that this was contrary to the Geneva Conventions
Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

 and quoted the Geneva Convention as saying, "Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind." According to Karpinski, the handwritten signature was above his printed name and in the same handwriting in the margin was written, "Make sure this is accomplished."

On May 1, 2005, The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

reported on an ongoing high-level military investigation into accusations of detainee abuse at Guantánamo, conducted by Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General (United States)
In the United States Army, the United States Air Force and the United States Marine Corps, lieutenant general is a three-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-9. Lieutenant general ranks above major general and below general...

 Randall M. Schmidt of the Air Force, and dealing with: "accounts by agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 who complained after witnessing detainees subjected to several forms of harsh treatment. The FBI agents wrote in memorandums that were never meant to be disclosed publicly that they had seen female interrogators forcibly squeeze male prisoners' genitals, and that they had witnessed other detainees stripped and shackled low to the floor for many hours."

On July 12, 2005, members of a military panel told the committee that they proposed disciplining prison commander Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Geoffrey Miller over the interrogation of Mohammed al Qahtani, who was forced to wear a bra
Brassiere
A brassiere is an undergarment that covers, supports, and elevates the breasts. Since the late 19th century, it has replaced the corset as the most widely accepted method for supporting breasts....

, dance with another man, and threatened with dogs. The recommendation was overruled by General Bantz J. Craddock
Bantz J. Craddock
Bantz John Craddock is a retired United States Army four-star general. His last military assignment was as Commander, U.S. European Command and the NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe as well as the commanding officer of Allied Command Operations from December 2006 to June 30, 2009. He also...

, commander of US Southern Command, who referred the matter to the army's inspector general.

In an interview with AP on February 14, 2008 Paul Rester
Paul Rester
Paul Rester is the director of the Joint Intelligence Groupat the United States' Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba -- the Chief Interrogator.Rester described the interrogation techniques the military used at Guantanamo to the Associated Press....

, chief military interrogator at Guantanamo Bay and director of the Joint Intelligence Group, said most of the information gathered from detainees came from non-coercive questioning and "rapport building," not harsh interrogation methods.

Development of techniques, and training


The CIA interrogation strategies were based on work done by James Elmer Mitchell
James Elmer Mitchell
James Elmer Mitchell is a psychologist who was the architect of the U.S. torture program after 9/11. A United States Air Force retiree, Mitchell was hired in 2002 by the Central Intelligence Agency with Bruce Jessen to design their enhanced interrogation techniques...

 and Bruce Jessen
Bruce Jessen
John Bruce Jessen is a psychologist and Air Force retiree who, with James Elmer Mitchell, established the so called U.S. Enhanced interrogation techniques Program.The Enhanced interrogation techniques have been seen by many experts as a euphemism for torture....

 in the Air Force's Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) program. The CIA contracted with the two psychologists to develop alternative, harsh interrogation techniques. However, neither of the two psychologists had any experience in conducting interrogations. Air Force Reserve Colonel Steve Kleinman stated that the CIA "chose two clinical psychologists who had no intelligence background whatsoever, who had never conducted an interrogation... to do something that had never been proven in the real world." Associates of Mitchell and Jessen were skeptical of their methods and believed they did not possess any data about the impact of SERE training on the human psyche. The CIA came to learn that Mitchell and Jessen's expertise in waterboarding was probably "misrepresented" and thus, there was no reason to believe it was medically safe or effective. Despite these shortcomings of experience and know-how, the two psychologists boasted of being paid $1000 a day plus expenses, tax-free by the CIA for their work.

The SERE program, which Mitchell and Jessen would reverse engineer, was originally designed to be defensive in nature and was used to train pilots and other soldiers on how to resist harsh interrogation techniques and torture were they to fall into enemy hands. The program subjected trainees to torture techniques such as “waterboarding . . . sleep deprivation, isolation, exposure to extreme temperatures, enclosure in tiny spaces, bombardment with agonizing sounds at extremely damaging decibel levels, and religious and sexual humiliation.” Under CIA supervision, Miller and Jessen adapted SERE into an offensive program designed to train CIA agents on how to use the harsh interrogation techniques to gather information from terrorist detainees. In fact, all of the tactics listed above would later be reported in the International Committee of the Red Cross Report on Fourteen High Value Detainees in CIA Custody as having been used on Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah is a Saudi Arabian citizen, sentenced to death in Jordan and currently held in U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.Not neutral: Arrested in Pakistan in March 2002, he has been in US custody for more than eight years, four-and-a-half of them spent incommunicado in solitary confinement...

.

Stephen Soldz
Stephen Soldz
Stephen Soldz, Ph.D., born November 19, 1952, is a psychoanalyst, clinical psychologist, professor, and anti-war activist.He has received media attention as a vocal critic regarding allegations of the use of psychological torture by the U.S...

, Steven Reisner and Brad Olson wrote an article describing how the techniques used mimic what was taught in the SERE-program: "the military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape program that trains US Special Operations Forces, aviators and others at high risk of capture on the battlefield to evade capture and to resist 'breaking' under torture, particularly through giving false confessions or collaborating with their captors".

The psychologists relied heavily on experiments done by American psychologist Martin Seligman
Martin Seligman
Martin E. P. "Marty" Seligman is an American psychologist, educator, and author of self-help books. His theory of "learned helplessness" is widely respected among scientific psychologists....

 in the 1970s on learned helplessness
Learned helplessness
Learned helplessness, as a technical term in animal psychology and related human psychology, means a condition of a human person or an animal in which it has learned to behave helplessly, even when the opportunity is restored for it to help itself by avoiding an unpleasant or harmful circumstance...

. In these experiments caged dogs were exposed to severe electric shocks in a random way in order to completely break their will to resist. Mitchell and Jessen applied this idea to Abu Zubaydah during his interrogation. Many of the interrogation techniques used in the SERE program, including waterboarding, cold cell, long-time standing, and sleep deprivation were previously considered illegal under U.S. and international law and treaties at the time of Abu Zubaydah’s capture. In fact, the United States had prosecuted Japanese military officials after World War II and American soldiers after the Vietnam War for waterboarding and as recently as 1983. Since 1930, the United States had defined sleep deprivation as an illegal form of torture. Many other techniques developed by the CIA constitute inhuman and degrading treatment and torture under the United Nations Convention against Torture and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

According to Human Rights First
Human Rights First
Human Rights First is a nonprofit, nonpartisan human rights organization based in New York City and Washington, D.C....

:
Internal FBI memos and press reports have pointed to SERE training as the basis for some of the harshest techniques authorised for use on detainees by the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

 in 2002 and 2003.

And Salon
Salon.com
Salon.com, part of Salon Media Group , often just called Salon, is an online liberal magazine, with content updated each weekday. Salon was founded by David Talbot and launched on November 20, 1995. It was the internet's first online-only commercial publication. The magazine focuses on U.S...

 stated:
A March 22, 2005, sworn statement by the former chief of the Interrogation Control Element at Guantánamo said instructors from SERE also taught their methods to interrogators of the prisoners in Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

.

While Jane Mayer
Jane Mayer
Jane Mayer is an American investigative journalist who has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1995...

 reported for The New Yorker
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

:
According to the sere affiliate and two other sources familiar with the program, after September 11th several psychologist
Psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

s versed in SERE techniques began advising interrogators at Guantánamo Bay and elsewhere. Some of these psychologists essentially “tried to reverse-engineer” the SERE program, as the affiliate put it. “They took good knowledge and used it in a bad way,” another of the sources said. Interrogators and BSCT members at Guantánamo adopted coercive techniques similar to those employed in the SERE program.

and continues to report:
many of the interrogation methods used in SERE training seem to have been applied at Guantánamo.."


A bipartisan report in released 2008 stated that:
a February 2002 memorandum signed by President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, stating that the Third Geneva Convention
Third Geneva Convention
The Third Geneva Convention, relative to the treatment of prisoners of war, is one of the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions. It was first adopted in 1929, but was significantly updated in 1949...

 guaranteeing humane treatment to prisoners of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 did not apply to al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 or Taliban detainees, and a December 2002 memo signed by former Defense Secretary
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to...

, approving the use of "aggressive techniques" against detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, as key factors that lead to the extensive abuses.

Approval of techniques by U.S. officials


In early 2002, immediately following Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah is a Saudi Arabian citizen, sentenced to death in Jordan and currently held in U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.Not neutral: Arrested in Pakistan in March 2002, he has been in US custody for more than eight years, four-and-a-half of them spent incommunicado in solitary confinement...

’s capture, top US Government officials including Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

, Colin Powell
Colin Powell
Colin Luther Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military...

, George Tenet
George Tenet
George John Tenet was the Director of Central Intelligence for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, and is Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University....

, Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

, Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to...

, and John Ashcroft
John Ashcroft
John David Ashcroft is a United States politician who served as the 79th United States Attorney General, from 2001 until 2005, appointed by President George W. Bush. Ashcroft previously served as the 50th Governor of Missouri and a U.S...

 discussed at length whether or not the CIA could legally use harsh techniques against Abu Zubaydah. Condoleezza Rice specifically mentioned the SERE program during the meeting stating “I recall being told that U.S. military personnel were subjected to training to certain physical and psychological interrogation techniques…”

ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 reported on April 9, 2008 that "the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency." The article states that those involved included:
Vice President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to...

 and Secretary of State Colin Powell
Colin Powell
Colin Luther Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military...

, as well as CIA Director George Tenet
George Tenet
George John Tenet was the Director of Central Intelligence for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, and is Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University....

 and Attorney General John Ashcroft
John Ashcroft
John David Ashcroft is a United States politician who served as the 79th United States Attorney General, from 2001 until 2005, appointed by President George W. Bush. Ashcroft previously served as the 50th Governor of Missouri and a U.S...

.


In addition, in 2002 and 2003, several Democratic congressional leaders were briefed on the proposed “enhanced interrogation techniques.” These congressional leaders included Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011...

, the future Speaker of the House, and Representative Jane Harman
Jane Harman
Jane Margaret Lakes Harman is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 1993 to 1999, and from 2001 to 2011. She is a member of the Democratic Party....

. Congressional officials have stated that the attitude in the briefings was “quiet acquiescence, if not downright support.” Senator Bob Graham
Bob Graham
Daniel Robert "Bob" Graham is an American politician. He was the 38th Governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987 and a United States Senator from that state from 1987 to 2005...

, who CIA records claim was present at the briefings, has stated that he was not briefed on waterboarding in 2002 and that CIA attendance records clash with his personal journal. Harman was the only congressional leader to object to the tactics being proposed. It is of note that in a 2007 report by investigator Dick Marty on secret CIA prisons, the phrase “enhanced interrogations” was stated to be a euphemism for torture. The documents show that top U.S. Officials were intimately involved in the discussion and approval of the harsher interrogation techniques used on Abu Zubaydah.

Condoleezza Rice ultimately told the CIA the harsher interrogation tactics were acceptable, In 2009 Rice stated, "We never tortured anyone." And Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

 stated "I signed off on it; so did others." In 2010, Cheney remained unrepentant, saying, "I was and remain a strong proponent of our enhanced interrogation program." Pressed on his personal view of waterboarding, Karl Rove
Karl Rove
Karl Christian Rove was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to former President George W. Bush until Rove's resignation on August 31, 2007. He has headed the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives...

 told the BBC in 2010: “I’m proud that we kept the world safer than it was, by the use of these techniques. They’re appropriate, they’re in conformity with our international requirements and with US law.” During the discussions John Ashcroft
John Ashcroft
John David Ashcroft is a United States politician who served as the 79th United States Attorney General, from 2001 until 2005, appointed by President George W. Bush. Ashcroft previously served as the 50th Governor of Missouri and a U.S...

 is reported as saying “Why are we talking about this in the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

? History will not judge this kindly.”

At least one adviser to Condoleezza Rice, Philip Zelikow, opposed the new, harsher interrogation techniques. Upon reading the August 1, 2002 memo which justified the torture, Zelikow authored his own memo contesting the Justice Department's conclusions, believing them wrong both legally and as a matter of policy. The Bush Administration attempted to collect all of the copies of Zelikow's memo and destroy them. Jane Mayer
Jane Mayer
Jane Mayer is an American investigative journalist who has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1995...

, author of the Dark Side, quotes Zelikow as predicting that "America's descent into torture will in time be viewed like the Japanese internments," in that "(f)ear and anxiety were exploited by zealots and fools."

Initial reports and complaints


Senior law enforcement
Law enforcement agency
In North American English, a law enforcement agency is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.Outside North America, such organizations are called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names In North American...

 agents with the Criminal Investigation Task Force told MSNBC.com
Msnbc.com
msnbc.com is a news website owned and operated as a joint venture by NBCUniversal and Microsoft.In addition to original content from its news staff, msnbc.com is the news website for the NBC News family, with content from the cable television news channel MSNBC, NBC shows such as Today, NBC Nightly...

 in 2006 that they began to complain inside the U.S. Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 in 2002 that the interrogation tactics used in Guantanamo Bay by a separate team of military intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

 investigators were unproductive, not likely to produce reliable information, and probably illegal. Unable to get satisfaction from the army commanders running the detainee camp, they took their concerns to David Brant
David Brant
Dave Brant is a retired career Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agent and executive. He served NCIS from 1977–2005, leading the agency as its director from 1997 until his retirement in December 2005.-Background and education:...

, director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service
Naval Criminal Investigative Service
The United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service is the primary security, counter-intelligence, counter-terrorism, and law enforcement agency of the United States Department of the Navy...

 (NCIS), who alerted Navy General Counsel Alberto J. Mora
Alberto J. Mora
Alberto J. Mora is a former General Counsel of the Navy. He led an effort within the Defense Department to oppose the legal theories of John Yoo and to try to end coercive interrogation tactics at Guantanamo Bay, which he argued are unlawful....

.

General Counsel Mora and Navy Judge Advocate General Michael Lohr believed the detainee treatment to be unlawful, and campaigned among other top lawyers and officials in the Defense Department to investigate, and to provide clear standards prohibiting coercive interrogation tactics. In response, on January 15, 2003, Rumsfeld suspended the approved interrogation tactics at Guantánamo Bay until a new set of guidelines could be produced by a working group headed by General Counsel of the Air Force Mary Walker
Mary L. Walker
Mary L. Walker is a United States lawyer who served as General Counsel of the Air Force during the presidency of George W. Bush. She gained notoriety for her role in a 2003 review by the United States Department of Defense of the so-called Torture Memos.-Biography:Mary L. Walker was born in...

. The working group based its new guidelines on a legal memo from the United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 Office of Legal Counsel
Office of Legal Counsel
The Office of Legal Counsel is an office in the United States Department of Justice that assists the Attorney General in his function as legal adviser to the President and all executive branch agencies.-History:...

 written by John Yoo
John Yoo
John Choon Yoo is an American attorney, law professor, and author. As a former official in the United States Department of Justice during the George W...

 and signed by Jay S. Bybee, which would later become widely known as the "Torture Memo." General Counsel Mora led a faction of the Working Group in arguing against these standards, and argued the issues with Yoo in person. The working group's final report was signed and delivered to Guantánamo without the knowledge of Mora and the others who had opposed its content. Nonetheless, Mora has maintained that detainee treatment has been consistent with the law since the January 15, 2003 suspension of previously approved interrogation tactics.

Official position of the Bush Administration


President Bush stated "The United States of America does not torture. And that's important for people around the world to understand." The administration adopted the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 to address the multitude of incidents of detainee abuse. However, in his signing statement
Signing statement
A signing statement is a written pronouncement issued by the President of the United States upon the signing of a bill into law. They are usually printed along with the bill in United States Code Congressional and Administrative News ....

, Bush made clear that he reserved the right to waive this bill if he thought that was needed.

The Washington Post reported in January 2009 that Susan J. Crawford
Susan J. Crawford
Susan J. Crawford is an US lawyer, who was appointed the Convening Authority for the Guantanamo military commissions, on February 7, 2007.Secretary of Defense Robert Gates appointed Crawford to replace John D...

, convening authority
Convening Authority
The term convening authority is used in United States military law to refer to an individual whose job includes appointing officers to play a role in a court-martial, or similar military tribunal or military commission...

 of military commissions, stated in response to the interrogation of Mohammed al-Qahtani, one of the so-called "20th hijacker
20th hijacker
20th hijacker is a numeric metaphor concerning a possible additional terrorist in the September 11, 2001, attacks who was not able to participate....

" of the September 11 attacks:
"The techniques they used were all authorized, but the manner in which they applied them was overly aggressive and too persistent.... You think of torture, you think of some horrendous physical act done to an individual. This was not any one particular act; this was just a combination of things that had a medical impact on him, that hurt his health. It was abusive and uncalled for. And coercive. Clearly coercive. It was that medical impact that pushed me over the edge", i.e., to call it torture.


The reason Crawford decided not to prosecute al-Qahtani was because his treatment fell within the definition of torture.

According to the February 16, 2008 edition of The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

, Rumsfeld also wrote in a 2002 memo; "I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing (by prisoners) limited to four hours?" There have been no comments from either the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

 or US army spokespeople in Iraq on Karpinski's accusations.

Debates about whether "enhanced interrogation" constitutes torture


Former President Bush in his published memoirs defends the utility of "enhanced interrogation" techniques and asserts that they are not torture.

However, President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and Guantanamo military prosecutor Crawford called some of the techniques torture. The British government has determined the techniques would be classified as torture, and dismissed President Bush's claim to the contrary. A report by Human Rights First
Human Rights First
Human Rights First is a nonprofit, nonpartisan human rights organization based in New York City and Washington, D.C....

 (HRF) and Physicians for Human Rights
Physicians for Human Rights
Physicians for Human Rights was founded in 1986 by a small group of doctors who believed the unique scientific expertise and authority of health professionals could bring human rights violations to light and provide justice for victims...

 (PFH) stated that these techniques constitute torture. They also cite the U.S. Office of the Inspector General
Office of the Inspector General
Office of the Inspector General is an office that is part of Cabinet departments and independent agencies of the United States federal government as well as some state and local governments. Each office includes an Inspector General and employees charged with identifying, auditing, and...

 report which concluded that
"SERE-type interrogation
Interrogation
Interrogation is interviewing as commonly employed by officers of the police, military, and Intelligence agencies with the goal of extracting a confession or obtaining information. Subjects of interrogation are often the suspects, victims, or witnesses of a crime...

 techniques constitute 'physical or mental torture and coercion under the Geneva conventions
Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

.'" A United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 report denounced the US abuse of prisoners as tantamount to torture. The UN report called for cessation of the US-termed "enhanced interrogation" techniques, as the UN sees these methods as a form of torture. The UN report also admonishes against secret prisons, the use of which, is considered to amount to torture as well and should be discontinued.

Some in the US press have been hesitant to call enhanced interrogation torture because as Paul Kane of the Washington Post explained, torture is a crime and nobody who engaged in "enhanced interrogation" has been charged or convicted. The New York Times terms the techniques "harsh" and "brutal" while avoiding the word "torture" in most but not all news articles, though it routinely calls "enhanced interrogation" torture in editorials. Slate magazine terms enhanced interrogation the "U.S. torture program."

Following NPR
NPR
NPR, formerly National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States. NPR was created in 1970, following congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting...

's controversial ban on using the word torture and Ombudsman Alica Shepard's defense of the policy that "calling waterboarding torture is tantamount to taking sides", Berkeley
UC Berkeley School of Information
The UC Berkeley School of Information or the iSchool is a graduate school offering both a professional master's degree and a research-oriented Ph.D. degree at the University of California, Berkeley. The school was created in 1994 and was known as the School of Information Management and Systems ...

 Professor of Linguistics Geoffrey Nunberg
Geoffrey Nunberg
Geoffrey Nunberg is an American linguist and a professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information. Nunberg has taught at Stanford University and served as a principal scientist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center from the mid-1980's to 2000...

 pointed out that virtually all media around the world, other than what he called the "spineless U.S. media", call these techniques torture. In an article on the euphemisms invented by the media that also criticized NPR, Glenn Greenwald
Glenn Greenwald
Glenn Greenwald is an American lawyer, columnist, blogger, and author. Greenwald worked as a constitutional and civil rights litigator before becoming a contributor to Salon.com, where he focuses on political and legal topics...

 discussed the enabling "corruption of American journalism":
This active media complicity in concealing that our Government created a systematic torture regime, by refusing ever to say so, is one of the principal reasons it was allowed to happen for so long. The steadfast, ongoing refusal of our leading media institutions to refer to what the Bush administration did as "torture" -- even in the face of more than 100 detainee deaths; the use of that term by a leading Bush official to describe what was done at Guantanamo; and the fact that media outlets frequently use the word "torture" to describe the exact same methods when used by other countries --reveals much about how the modern journalist thinks.


Atlantic Monthly writer Andrew Sullivan
Andrew Sullivan
Andrew Michael Sullivan is an English author, editor, political commentator and blogger. He describes himself as a political conservative. He has focused on American political life....

 asserts the first use of a term comparable to "enhanced interrogation" was a 1937 memo by Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 Chief Heinrich Muller coining the phrase "Verschärfte Vernehmung," German for (according to Sullivan) "sharpened," "intensified" or "enhanced interrogation" to describe subjection to extreme cold, sleep deprivation, and deliberate exhaustion among other techniques. Sullivan reports that in 1948 Norway prosecuted German officials for what trial documents termed "Verschärfte Vernehmung" including subjection to cold water, and repeated beatings. It is as yet unclear when US government officials first adopted the term enhanced interrogation, and there is no evidence they were aware of its antecedents in Gestapo terminology.

Debates concerning effectiveness or reliability of techniques


Also, according to the New York Times:
Experts advising the Bush administration on new interrogation rules warn that harsh techniques used since 2001 terrorist attacks are outmoded, amateurish and unreliable.


The Washington Post described the report by the Intelligence Science Board:
There is almost no scientific evidence to back up the U.S. intelligence community's use of controversial interrogation techniques in the fight against terrorism, and experts believe some painful and coercive approaches could hinder the ability to get good information, according to a new report from an intelligence advisory group.


The so-called ticking time bomb scenario
Ticking time bomb scenario
The ticking time bomb scenario is a thought experiment that has been used in the ethics debate over whether torture can ever be justified.Simply stated, the consequentialist argument is that nations, even those such as the United States that legally disallow torture, can justify its use if they...

 is frequently used to try to justify extreme interrogation. Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff was the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush and co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act. He previously served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as a federal prosecutor, and as assistant U.S. Attorney...

, the Homeland Security Chief under Bush, declared that the TV series 24
24 (TV series)
24 is an American television series produced for the Fox Network and syndicated worldwide, starring Kiefer Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit agent Jack Bauer. Each 24-episode season covers 24 hours in the life of Bauer, using the real time method of narration...

"reflects real life" - despite the series depicting its main character as encountering different "ticking time bombs" 12 times a day on average. Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

 stated: "I know specifically of reports... that lay out what we learnt through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country", however the only examples publicly released that attempt to support this claim are:
  1. The claim that the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
    Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a Kuwait-born militant in U.S. custody in Guantánamo Bay for alleged acts of terrorism, including mass murder of civilians....

     helped prevent a planned attack on Los Angeles in 2002 - which ignores the fact that he wasn't captured until 2003, and
  2. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi
    Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi
    Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi was a Libyan paramilitary trainer for Al-Qaeda. After being captured and interrogated by the American and Egyptian forces, the information he gave under torture by Egyptian authorities was cited by the George W. Bush Administration in the months preceding the 2003 invasion of...

     who had confessed that Iraq
    Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

     had trained al Qaeda in the use of weapons of mass destruction which was then used as justification for the subsequent invasion of Iraq - a confession now known to be false.


An academic analysis by Professor Shane O'Mara of the Trinity College
Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin , formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", Extracts from Letters Patent of Elizabeth I, 1592: "...we...found and...

 Institute of Neuroscience concluded that "Prolonged stress from the CIA's harsh interrogations could have impaired the memories of terrorist suspects, diminishing their ability to recall and provide the detailed information the spy agency sought".

Former Washington Post writer Peter Carlson notes that when it became known U.S. troops were waterboarding
Waterboarding
Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning...

 Filipino guerrilla fighters in 1898, author Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

 remarked,
"To make him confess what? Truth? Or lies? How can one know which it is they are telling? For under unendurable pain a man confesses anything that is required of him, true or false, and his evidence is worthless."


Former CIA operative John Kiriakou
John Kiriakou
John Kiriakou is a former CIA officer, commentator, and author notable as the first official within the U.S. government to openly admit to the use of waterboarding as an interrogation technique....

 in 2007 told CNN's "American Morning" that the torture of Al Qaeda's Abu Zubayda indirectly lead to the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed:
The former agent, who said he participated in the Abu Zubayda interrogation but not his waterboarding, said the CIA decided to waterboard the al Qaeda operative only after he was "wholly uncooperative" for weeks and refused to answer questions.

All that changed -- and Zubayda reportedly had a divine revelation -- after 30 to 35 seconds of waterboarding, Kiriakou said he learned from the CIA agents who performed the technique.

The terror suspect, who is being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, reportedly gave up information that indirectly led to the 2003 raid in Pakistan yielding the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, an alleged planner of the September 11, 2001, attacks, Kiriakou said.

The CIA was unaware of Mohammed's stature before the Abu Zubayda interrogation, the former agent said.


Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said:
So the point I would make to folks who say, "I don't want you doing this, and it doesn't work anyway," I would point out, "Whoa. Stop. The front half of that sentence, you can say; that's yours, you own that, 'I don't want you doing it.' The back half of that sentence is not yours. That's mine. And the fact is it did work. So here is the sentence you have to give. 'Even though it may have worked, I still don't want you doing it.' That requires courage. That requires you going out to the American people and saying, 'We're looking at a tradeoff here folks, and I want you to understand the tradeoff.'" I can live with that tradeoff. I can live with the person who makes that tradeoff. Either way. That's an honorable position. But I felt duty-bound to be true to the facts.


After the killing of Osama bin Laden
Death of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, then head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. local time by a United States special forces military unit....

, a Washington Post report, quoting U.S. officials including former attorney general Michael Mukasey, asserted that the interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libbi
Abu Faraj al-Libbi
Abu Faraj al-Libi is an assumed name or nom de guerre of a Libyan alleged to be a senior member of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization. His real name is thought to be Mustafa al-'Uzayti. He was arrested by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence on May 2, 2005, in Mardan...

 provided a courier's pseudonym "al-Kuwaiti" which ultimately allowed them to locate Bin Laden.
Also Fox News reports that the enhanced interrogation techniques provided key details on Bin Laden's location, referring to Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

 saying that he "assumes" that enhanced interrogation techniques led to bin Laden's capture.
However, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was not the first one providing this information: U.S. officials said that already shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, detainees in CIA secret prisons told interrogators about the courier's pseudonym "al-Kuwaiti". Later, after Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured, he just "confirmed" the courier's pseudonym.
After Abu Faraj al-Libbi
Abu Faraj al-Libbi
Abu Faraj al-Libi is an assumed name or nom de guerre of a Libyan alleged to be a senior member of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization. His real name is thought to be Mustafa al-'Uzayti. He was arrested by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence on May 2, 2005, in Mardan...

 was captured, he provided bogus information, denying that he knew al-Kuwaiti and making up another name instead.

Military interrogators with knowledge of the sources of the information deny that "enhanced interrogation" eventually led to finding and killing Osama Bin Laden A group of interrogators contradicting former Bush administration Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's claim that "enhanced interrogation" produced the leads that ultimately led to Osama Bin Laden, asserted that the key piece of information, a courier's nickname, was not divulged "during torture, but rather several months later, when [detainees] were questioned by interrogators who did not use abusive techniques.”

Columnist Marc Thiessen
Marc Thiessen
Marc A. Thiessen is an American author, columnist and political commentator, who served as a speechwriter for United States President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld...

 calls this view "ignorance of how CIA interrogations worked." He asserts that during "enhanced interrogation" the interrogators only asked questions to which they already knew the answers in order "to create a state of cooperation, not to get specific truthful answers to a specific question." They would not have asked for unknown information until after the subject was willing to talk, at which point the techniques would no longer be used.

Senator John McCain, citing CIA Director Leon Panetta
Leon Panetta
Leon Edward Panetta is the 23rd and current United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama since 2011. Prior to taking office, he served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency...

, said that the assertion that waterboarding produced information that found Osama Bin Laden is false; all the useful leads were "obtained through standard, noncoercive means." The CIA later provided the Washington Post a letter from CIA Director Penetta to Senator McCain that confirms that enhanced interrogation techniques did not help and may have hindered the search for Bin Laden by producing false information during interrogations. In the letter CIA Director Panetta wrote Senator McCain that
we first learned about the facilitator/courier’s nom de guerre from a detainee not in CIA custody in 2002. It is also important to note that some detainees who were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques attempted to provide false or misleading information about the facilitator/courier. These attempts to falsify the facilitator/courier’s role were alerting. In the end, no detainee in CIA custody revealed the facilitator/courier’s full true name or specific whereabouts. This information was discovered through other intelligence means.

Destruction of videotapes


In December 2007 it became known that the CIA had destroyed videotapes
2005 CIA interrogation tapes destruction
The CIA interrogation tapes destruction occurred on November 9, 2005. The videotapes were made by the United States Central Intelligence Agency during interrogations of Al-Qaeda suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in 2002 at a CIA black site prison in Thailand.. 90 tapes were made of...

 depicting prisoners being interrogated. Subsequent disclosures in 2010 revealed that Jose Rodriguez Jr., head of the directorate of operations at the CIA from 2004 to 2007, ordered the tapes destroyed because what they showed was so horrific they would be "devastating to the CIA," and that "the heat from destroying is nothing compared to what it would be if the tapes ever got into public domain." The New York Times reported that according to "some insiders" an inquiry into the C.I.A.’s secret detention program which analysed these techniques "might end with criminal charges for abusive interrogations." In an Op-ed for The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

 Thomas H. Kean
Thomas Kean
Thomas Howard Kean is an American Republican Party politician, who served as the 48th Governor of New Jersey from 1982 to 1990. Kean is best known globally, however, for his 2002 appointment as Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, widely known as the...

 and Lee H. Hamilton
Lee H. Hamilton
Lee Herbert Hamilton is a former member of the United States House of Representatives and currently a member of the U.S. Homeland Security Advisory Council. A member of the Democratic Party, Hamilton represented the 9th congressional district of Indiana from 1965 to 1999...

, chair and vice chair of the 9/11 Commission
9/11 Commission
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9/11 Commission, was set up on November 27, 2002, "to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks", including preparedness for and the immediate response to...

, stated:
As a legal matter, it is not up to us to examine the C.I.A.’s failure to disclose the existence of these tapes. That is for others. What we do know is that government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the president, to investigate one the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction
Obstruction of justice
The crime of obstruction of justice, in United States jurisdictions, refers to the crime of interfering with the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other officials...

.


Responding to the so-called "torture memoranda" Scott Horton
Scott Horton (lawyer)
Scott Horton is a New York attorney known for his work in human rights law and the law of armed conflict, as well as emerging markets and international law. He graduated Texas Law School in Austin with a JD and was a partner in a large New York law firm, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler...

 pointed out
the possibility that the authors of these memoranda counseled the use of lethal and unlawful techniques, and therefore face criminal culpability
Command responsibility
Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita standard or the Medina standard, and also known as superior responsibility, is the doctrine of hierarchical accountability in cases of war crimes....

 themselves. That, after all, is the teaching of United States v. Altstötter, the Nuremberg case brought against German Justice Department lawyers whose memoranda crafted the basis for implementation of the infamous “Night and Fog Decree.”

Jordan Paust concurred by responding to Mukasey's refusal to investigate and/or prosecute anyone that relied on these legal opinions
it is legally and morally impossible for any member of the executive branch to be acting lawfully or within the scope of his or her authority while following OLC opinions that are manifestly inconsistent with or violative of the law. General Mukasey, just following orders
Superior Orders
Superior orders is a plea in a court of law that a soldier not be held guilty for actions which were ordered by a superior office...

 is no defense!

International Committee of the Red Cross Report


On March 15, 2009, Mark Danner
Mark Danner
Mark David Danner is a prominent American writer, journalist, and educator. He is a former staff writer for The New Yorker and frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. Danner specializes in U.S. foreign affairs, war and politics, and has written extensively on Haiti, Central America,...

 provided a report in the New York Review of Books (with an abridged version in the New York Times) describing and commenting on the contents of a report by the International Committee of the Red Cross
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross is a private humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. States parties to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005, have given the ICRC a mandate to protect the victims of international and...

 (ICRC), Report on the Treatment of Fourteen "High Value Detainees" in CIA Custody (43 pp., February 2007). Report... is a record of interviews with black site
Black site
In military terminology, a black site is a location at which an unacknowledged black project is conducted. Recently, the term has gained notoriety in describing secret prisons operated by the United States Central Intelligence Agency , generally outside of U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction. It...

 detainees, conducted between October 6 and 11 and December 4 and 14, 2006, after their transfer to Guantánamo. (According to Danner, the report was marked "confidential" and was not previously made public before being made available to him.)

Danner provides excerpts of interviews with detainees, including Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah is a Saudi Arabian citizen, sentenced to death in Jordan and currently held in U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.Not neutral: Arrested in Pakistan in March 2002, he has been in US custody for more than eight years, four-and-a-half of them spent incommunicado in solitary confinement...

, Walid bin Attash, and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a Kuwait-born militant in U.S. custody in Guantánamo Bay for alleged acts of terrorism, including mass murder of civilians....

. According to Danner, the report contains sections on "methods of ill-treatment" including suffocation by water, prolonged stress standing, beatings by use of a collar, beating and kicking, confinement in a box, prolonged nudity, sleep deprivation and use of loud music, exposure to cold temperature/cold water, prolonged use of handcuffs and shackles, threats, forced shaving, and deprivation/restricted provision of solid food. Danner quotes the ICRC report as saying that, "in many cases, the ill-treatment to which they were subjected while held in the CIA program, either singly or in combination, constituted torture. In addition, many other elements of the ill-treatment, either singly or in combination, constituted cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment."

Senate Armed Services Committee Report


A bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee report, released in part in December 2008 and in full in April 2009, concluded that the legal authorization of "enhanced interrogation techniques" led directly to the abuse and killings of prisoners in US military facilities at Abu Ghraib
Abu Ghraib
The city of Abu Ghraib in the Baghdad Governorate of Iraq is located just west of Baghdad's city center, or northwest of Baghdad International Airport. It has a population of 189,000. The old road to Jordan passes through Abu Ghraib...

, Bagram
Bagram
Bagram , founded as Alexandria on the Caucasus and known in medieval times as Kapisa, is a small town and seat in Bagram District in Parwan Province of Afghanistan, about 60 kilometers north of the capital Kabul. It is the site of an ancient city located at the junction of the Ghorband and Panjshir...

, and elsewhere. Coercive methods originally derived from Chinese communists to extract false confessions migrated from Guantanamo Bay to Afghanistan, then to Iraq and Abu Ghraib. The report concludes that some authorized techniques including "use of stress positions and sleep deprivation combined with other mistreatment" caused or were direct contributing factors in the cases of several prisoners who were "tortured to death." The report also notes that authorizing abuse created the conditions for other, unauthorized abuse, by creating a legal and moral climate encouraging inhumane treatment. The legal memos condoning "enhanced interrogation" had "redefined torture," "distorted the meaning and intent of anti-torture laws, [and] rationalized the abuse of detainees," conveying the message that "physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment." What followed was an "erosion of standards dictating that detainees be treated humanely." The report accused Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and his deputies of being, according to the Washington Post, directly responsible as the "authors and chief promoters of harsh interrogation policies that disgraced the nation and undermined U.S. security."

Request for Special Counsel Probe of Harsh Interrogation Tactics


On June 8, 2008, fifty-six House Democrats asked for an independent investigation, raising the possibility that authorising these techniques may constitute a crime by Bush administration officials. The congressmen involved in calling for such an investigation included John Conyers
John Conyers
John Conyers, Jr. is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1965 . He is a member of the Democratic Party...

, Jan Schakowsky
Jan Schakowsky
Janice D. "Jan" Schakowsky is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1999. She is a member of the Democratic Party.The district includes many of Chicago's northern suburbs, including Evanston, Skokie, Wilmette, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Rosemont...

, and Jerrold Nadler
Jerrold Nadler
Jerrold Lewis "Jerry" Nadler is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1992. He is a member of the Democratic Party.The district includes the west side of Manhattan from the Upper West Side down to Battery Park, including the site where the World Trade Center stood...

.

The letter was addressed to Attorney General
Attorney General
In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general, or attorney-general, is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions.The term is used to refer to any person...

 Michael B. Mukasey
Michael B. Mukasey
Michael Bernard Mukasey is a lawyer and former judge who served as the 81st Attorney General of the United States. Mukasey, an American lawyer, was appointed following the resignation of Alberto Gonzales. Mukasey also served for 18 years as a judge of the United States District Court for the...

 observing that:
"... information indicates that the Bush administration may have systematically implemented, from the top down, detainee interrogation policies that constitute torture or otherwise violate the law."

The letter continues to state:
"Because these apparent 'enhanced interrogation techniques' were used under cover of Justice Department legal opinions, the need for an outside special prosecutor is obvious."


According to the Washington Post the request was denied because Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey felt that:
officials acted in "good faith" when they sought legal opinions, and that the lawyers who provided them used their best judgment.

The article also reported that:
He warned that criminalizing the process could cause policymakers to second-guess themselves and "harm our national security well into the future."


After Cheney acknowledged his involvement in authorising these tactics Senator Carl Levin
Carl Levin
Carl Milton Levin is a Jewish-American United States Senator from Michigan, serving since 1979. He is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

, chair of the Armed Services Committee, a New York Times editorial, Glenn Greenwald and Scott Horton stressed the importance of a criminal investigation:
A prosecutor should be appointed to consider criminal charges against top officials at the Pentagon and others involved in planning the abuse.

International calls on Obama to investigate and prosecute


Shortly before the end of Bush's second term newsmedia in other countries were opining that under the United Nations Convention Against Torture the US is obligated to hold those responsible to account under criminal law
Criminal law
Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey...

.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment -Professor Manfred Nowak
Manfred Nowak
Manfred Nowak is an Austrian human rights lawyer.Nowak was a student of Felix Ermacora, and cooperated with him until Ermacora's death in 1995. They co-founded the Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Menschenrechte in 1992...

- on January 20, 2008 remarked on German television that, following the inauguration of Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 as new President, George W. Bush has lost his head of state immunity and under international law the U.S. is now mandated to start criminal proceedings against all those involved in these violations of the UN Convention Against Torture. Law professor Dietmar Herz explained Novak's comments by saying that under U.S. and international law former President Bush is criminally responsible
Command responsibility
Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita standard or the Medina standard, and also known as superior responsibility, is the doctrine of hierarchical accountability in cases of war crimes....

 for adopting torture as interrogation tool.

US prevention of disclosure by English courts of allegations of torture


On February 4, 2009 the High Court
High Court of Justice
The High Court of Justice is, together with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales...

 of England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

 ruled that evidence of possible torture in the case of Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian-born British resident who is held in Guantanamo Bay, could not be disclosed:

as a result of a statement by David Miliband
David Miliband
David Wright Miliband is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for South Shields since 2001, and was the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2007 to 2010. He is the elder son of the late Marxist theorist Ralph Miliband...

, the foreign secretary, that if the evidence was disclosed the US would stop sharing intelligence with Britain. That would directly threaten the UK's national security, Miliband had told the court.


Responding to the ruling, David Davis
David Davis (British politician)
David Michael Davis is a British Conservative Party politician who is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Haltemprice and Howden...

, the Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary, commented:
The ruling implies that torture has taken place in the [Binyam] Mohamed case, that British agencies may have been complicit, and further, that the United States government has threatened our high court that if it releases this information the US government will withdraw its intelligence cooperation with the United Kingdom.


The High Court judges also stated that a criminal investigation, by the UK's attorney general
Law Officers of the Crown
The Law Officers of the Crown are the chief legal advisers to the Crown, and advise and represent the various governments in the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth Realms. In England and Wales, Northern Ireland and most Commonwealth and colonial governments, the chief law officer of the...

, into possible torture has begun.

Legality


After the disclosure of the use of the techniques, debates arose over the legality of the techniques—whether or not they had violated U.S. or international law.

US governmental legal opinions


Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, several memoranda analyzing the legality of various interrogation methods were written by John Yoo
John Yoo
John Choon Yoo is an American attorney, law professor, and author. As a former official in the United States Department of Justice during the George W...

 from the Office of Legal Counsel
Office of Legal Counsel
The Office of Legal Counsel is an office in the United States Department of Justice that assists the Attorney General in his function as legal adviser to the President and all executive branch agencies.-History:...

. The memos, known today as the torture memos
Torture Memos
The Torture Memos, sometimes called the Bybee Memo or 8/1/02 Interrogation Opinion, were a set of legal memoranda drafted by Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States John Yoo and signed by Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee...

, advocate enhanced interrogation techniques, while pointing out that avoiding the Geneva Conventions would reduce the possibility of prosecution under the US War Crimes Act of 1996
War Crimes Act of 1996
The War Crimes Act of 1996 was passed with overwhelming majorities by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton....

 for actions taken in the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

. In addition, a new US definition of torture was issued. Most actions that fall under the international definition do not fall within this new definition advocated by the U.S.

The Bush administration told the CIA in 2002 that its interrogators working abroad would not violate US prohibitions against torture unless they "have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering", according to a previously secret US Justice Department memo released on July 24, 2008. The interrogator's "good faith" and "honest belief" that the interrogation will not cause such suffering protects the interrogator, the memo adds. "Because specific intent is an element of the offense, the absence of specific intent negates the charge of torture", Jay Bybee
Jay Bybee
Jay Scott Bybee is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He has published numerous articles in law journals and taught law school; his primary interests are in constitutional and administrative law....

, then the Assistant Attorney General, wrote in the memo dated August 1, 2002 addressed to the CIA acting General Counsel John A. Rizzo
John A. Rizzo
John A. Rizzo was a lawyer at the Central Intelligence Agency for 34 years. He was the acting General Counsel or Deputy Counsel of the CIA for the first nine years of the War on Terror, during which the CIA held dozens of detainees in black site prisons around the globe. "Enhanced interrogation...

. The 18-page memo is heavily redacted, with 10 of its 18 pages completely blacked out and only a few paragraphs legible on the others.

Another memo released on the same day advises that "the waterboard
Waterboarding
Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning...

," does "not violate the Torture Statute." It also cites a number of warnings against torture, including statements by President Bush and a then-new Supreme Court ruling "which raises possible concerns about future US judicial review
Judicial review
Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary. Specific courts with judicial review power must annul the acts of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher authority...

 of the [interrogation] Program."

A third memo instructs interrogators to keep records of sessions in which "enhanced interrogation techniques" are used. The memo is signed by then-CIA director George Tenet
George Tenet
George John Tenet was the Director of Central Intelligence for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, and is Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University....

 and dated January 28, 2003.

The memos were made public by the American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

, which obtained the three CIA-related documents under Freedom of Information Act requests.

The less redacted version of the August 1, 2002 memo signed by Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee
Jay Bybee
Jay Scott Bybee is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He has published numerous articles in law journals and taught law school; his primary interests are in constitutional and administrative law....

 (regarding Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah
Abu Zubaydah is a Saudi Arabian citizen, sentenced to death in Jordan and currently held in U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.Not neutral: Arrested in Pakistan in March 2002, he has been in US custody for more than eight years, four-and-a-half of them spent incommunicado in solitary confinement...

) and four memos from 2005 signed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Steven Bradbury
Steven Bradbury
Steven John Bradbury OAM is a former Australian short track speed skater and four-time Olympian, who won the 1,000 m event at the 2002 Winter Olympics after all of his opponents were involved in a last corner pile-up...

 addressed to CIA and analysing the legality of various specific interrogation methods, including waterboarding
Waterboarding
Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning...

, were released by Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 administration on April 16, 2009

Following the release of the CIA documents and now released from non disclosure agreements he had signed Philip Zelikow, a former State Department lawyer and adviser to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

, stated that he had argued it was unlikely that "any federal court would agree (that the approval of harsh interrogation techniques) ... was a reasonable interpretation of the Constitution." He was told to destroy copies of his own memo and claimed that the Bush Administration had ordered that other dissenting legal advice be collected and destroyed.

US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Antonin Scalia
Antonin Gregory Scalia is an American jurist who serves as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. As the longest-serving justice on the Court, Scalia is the Senior Associate Justice...

 said on BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 that since these methods are not intended to punish they do not violate the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights which prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishments. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that this amendment's Cruel and Unusual...

, barring "cruel and unusual punishment
Cruel and unusual punishment
Cruel and unusual punishment is a phrase describing criminal punishment which is considered unacceptable due to the suffering or humiliation it inflicts on the condemned person...

", and as such may not be unconstitutional.

The US Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557 , is a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that military commissions set up by the Bush administration to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay lack "the power to proceed because its structures and procedures violate both the Uniform Code of Military...

 that, contrary to what the Bush administration advocated, Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions applies to all detainees in the war on terrorism and as such the Military Tribunals
Guantanamo military commission
The Guantanamo military commissions are military tribunals created by the Military Commissions Act of 2006 for prosecuting detainees held in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps.- History :...

 used to try suspects were violating the law. The Court reaffirmed that those involved in mistreatment of detainees violate US and international law.

Opinions of international legal bodies


On May 19, 2006, the UN Committee against Torture issued a report stating the U.S. should stop, what it concludes, is "ill-treatment" of detainees, since such treatment, according to the report, violates international law.

Opinions of human rights organizations


A report by Human Rights First
Human Rights First
Human Rights First is a nonprofit, nonpartisan human rights organization based in New York City and Washington, D.C....

 (HRF) and Physicians for Human Rights
Physicians for Human Rights
Physicians for Human Rights was founded in 1986 by a small group of doctors who believed the unique scientific expertise and authority of health professionals could bring human rights violations to light and provide justice for victims...

 (PFH) stated that these techniques constitute torture. Their press release said:
The report concludes that each of the ten tactics is likely to violate U.S. laws, including the War Crimes Act
War Crimes Act of 1996
The War Crimes Act of 1996 was passed with overwhelming majorities by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton....

, the U.S. Torture Act, and the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005.

Ban on interrogation techniques


On December 14, 2005, the Detainee Treatment Act
Detainee Treatment Act
The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 is an Act of the United States Congress that prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners, including prisoners at Guantanamo Bay; requires military interrogations to be performed according to the U.S...

 was passed into law, specifically clarifying that interrogations techniques be limited to those explicitly authorized by the Army Field Manual. On February 13, 2008 the US Senate, in a 51 to 45 vote, approved a bill limiting the number of techniques allowed to only "those interrogation techniques explicitly authorized by the 2006 Army Field Manual." The Washington Post stated:
The measure would effectively ban the use of simulated drowning, temperature extremes and other harsh tactics that the CIA used on al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 prisoners after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 has said in a BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 interview he would veto such a bill after previously signing an executive order that
allows "enhanced interrogation techniques" and may exempt the CIA from Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.


On March 8, 2008 President Bush vetoed this bill. "Because the danger remains, we need to ensure our intelligence officials have all the tools they need to stop the terrorists," Bush said in his weekly radio address . "The bill Congress sent me would take away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror - the CIA program to detain and question key terrorist leaders and operatives." Bush said that the methods used by the military are designed for interrogating "lawful combatants captured on the battlefield", not the "hardened terrorists" normally questioned by the CIA. "If we were to shut down this program and restrict the CIA to methods in the Field Manual, we could lose vital information from senior al Qaida terrorists, and that could cost American lives," Bush said.

Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 senator Edward Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

 described Bush's veto as "one of the most shameful acts of his presidency". He said, "Unless Congress overrides the veto, it will go down in history as a flagrant insult to the rule of law and a serious stain on the good name of America in the eyes of the world."

According to Jane Mayer
Jane Mayer
Jane Mayer is an American investigative journalist who has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1995...

, during the transition period for then President-elect Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

, his legal, intelligence, and national-security advisers had met at the CIA’s headquarters in Langley to discuss "whether a ban on brutal interrogation practices would hurt their ability to gather intelligence," and among the consulted experts:
There was unanimity among Obama’s expert advisers... that to change the practices would not in any material way affect the collection of intelligence.


On January 22, 2009 President Obama signed an executive order requiring the CIA to use only the 19 interrogation methods outlined in the United States Army Field Manual on interrogations
FM 2-22.3 Human Intelligence Collector Operations
Army Field Manual 2 22.3, or FM 2-22.3, Human Intelligence Collector Operations, was issued by the Department of the Army on September 6, 2006. The manual gives instructions on a range of issues, such as the structure, planning and management of human intelligence operations, the debriefing of...

 "unless the Attorney General with appropriate consultation provides further guidance."

See also



  • 2005 CIA interrogation tapes destruction
    2005 CIA interrogation tapes destruction
    The CIA interrogation tapes destruction occurred on November 9, 2005. The videotapes were made by the United States Central Intelligence Agency during interrogations of Al-Qaeda suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in 2002 at a CIA black site prison in Thailand.. 90 tapes were made of...

  • Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse
    Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse
    Beginning in 2004, human rights violations in the form of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, including torture, rape, sodomy, and homicide of prisoners held in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq came to public attention...

  • Bagram torture and prisoner abuse
    Bagram torture and prisoner abuse
    In 2005, The New York Times obtained a 2,000-page United States Army report concerning the homicides of two unarmed civilian Afghan prisoners by U.S. armed forces in 2002 at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility in Bagram, Afghanistan. The prisoners, Habibullah and Dilawar, were chained to the...

  • Behavioral Science Consultation Teams
  • Black site
    Black site
    In military terminology, a black site is a location at which an unacknowledged black project is conducted. Recently, the term has gained notoriety in describing secret prisons operated by the United States Central Intelligence Agency , generally outside of U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction. It...

  • Bush Six
  • Command responsibility
    Command responsibility
    Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita standard or the Medina standard, and also known as superior responsibility, is the doctrine of hierarchical accountability in cases of war crimes....

  • Criticisms of the War on Terrorism
  • Doublespeak
    Doublespeak
    Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms , making the truth less unpleasant, without denying its nature. It may also be deployed as intentional ambiguity, or reversal of meaning...


  • High-Value Interrogation Group
    High-Value Interrogation Group
    The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group is an intelligence-gathering group created by the President of the United States in August 2009. Its charter was drawn up in April 2010. It is intended to centralize government expertise in enhanced interrogation techniques...

  • Human rights abuse
  • Iraq prison abuse scandal
  • Jus in bello
  • Torture
    Torture
    Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

  • Torture and the United States
    Torture and the United States
    Torture in the United States includes documented and alleged cases of torture both inside the United States and outside its borders by U.S. government personnel...

  • UN Convention Against Torture
  • War crimes

Further reading

  • William Ranney Levi, "Interrogation's Law" (2009)
  • Stephen Grey, Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program (2007)
  • Ishmael Jones, The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture (2008, 2010) Encounter Books
    Encounter Books
    Encounter Books is an American conservative book publisher. It is an activity of Encounter for Culture and Education, Inc. Encounter Books draws its name from Encounter , the now defunct literary magazine founded by Irving Kristol and Stephen Spender....

    , New York. ISBN 978-1-59403-382-7.
  • Alfred W. McCoy, A Question Of Torture: CIA Interrogation from the Cold War to the War on Terror (2006)
  • U.S. Government, Coercive Interrogation: U.S. Views on Torture 1963-2003

External links